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Improve and control security in your Macintosh-system workplace

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If you use a Mac, the 10.4 servers and above have iChat imbedded in them. Clients with jabber capabilities have services provided by jabber protocols. Your mobile employees can send plaintext and audiovisual files, as well as chat and otherwise talk to each other with the Open Server Directory of OS X. The process is made easy with the Admin Server app in X. Same with the ability to encrypt IM traffic with a 'self-signed certificate' or a provider such as GoDaddy or Verisign.

OS Server has local management cabability for groups and profiles. The Sysadmin can prevent certain web sites from being seen, or simply putting forth a complete list of web sites which employees are able to access. Postini can be used in conjunction with the management policies of OS X to keep forbidden content out of the workplace.

A small business must be sure to have encrypted security in place. Mac OS X provides this level of encrypted security at each step in the experience of the user.

To keep your data secure, use File Vault to encrypt the entire folder and generate a disk image for the system. There are inexpensive or free certificates available for an indiviudal, available at web sites such as thawte.com. The AES-128bit security is protected by password. For 'self-signiature' and commerce certificates, try Entourage and Applemail. Employees are able to send e-mail between themselves using these applications as well. For a simple and powerful way to store e-mail, Keychain assistant is to keep all your highly-sensitive web site credentials away in a high-security area within the system. OS X creates a key for every user who logs on, and locks automatically upon logout. Users can store their e-mail password list here with confidence. Currently Apple lets the user visually determine the security rating of a password as it is being typed in, live.

Lastly, Keychain assistant offers a simple and powerful way to automatically store email web site credentials in a highly-secure encryped area in the system. OS X can generate a keychain for each user who logs in, set to auto-lock upon logout while permitting the accessor to store passwords and other sensitive data securely. Assistance is available from Apple, who lets users evaluate the security of a password with a color-coded guage. Manual extension of the Keychain assistant is also possible through the addition of several keychains allocated to the safe storage of passwords of a certain type.

Most likely you get loads of email, maybe even files which are stored locally. The average user might be confused in searching for an individual file. OS X 10.4 users get the Spotlight application included - however, experience using Google Desktop or Windows Vista is helpful prerequisite knowledge. Users can locate Spotlight by content, file name or type. Even meta-data, too. One can even add valuable plug-ins or other X downloads to the system. See: http://www.apple.com/macosx/downloads/.


About the Author

Nick Pegley is VP of Marketing at All Covered Inc, the only nationwide information technology (IT) services company focused solely on enabling the success of small businesses. Serving thousands of firms across every industry, the company helps clients achieve their business objectives by lowering the cost and maximizing the performance of their IT systems. For more information visit www.allcovered.com.


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-01-07 21:01:11 in Computer Articles

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